photography: Kevin Griffin agency: Irish International BBDO, Dublin
Replacing the pupil with a hurling ball (sliotar in Irish) required subtle blending skills to make it believable: we wanted the sliotar to attain even more expression and intensity of glare than the original, striking a balance between a read of the detail stitching and not appearing too reptilian. The intention was for the image to have a bold impact on the viewer.
“It’s not often you produce an image with the intention of forcing your viewer to look away, but that was what we were aiming for here once the image was blown up to billboard size, or when it jumped out at you when you turned the page in a magazine.”
- Chris Christodoulou, MD, Saddington Baynes
The unflinching biological reality of the eyeball was intended to challenge as much as the intensity of the eye itself. We wanted an almost unsettling quality to it, which we achieved by giving the hurling ball a wet translucency that mimicked the real eyeball. Adding a tinge of pink to the inner eyelid and accentuating the uncompromising detail of each skin blemish, each hair and each blood-red vein also helps to make the viewer feel challenged and unnerved.
But the real power is in the colour grading. The balance of tone and palette needed to share the same blend of curiosity, intellectual surprise and esteem that previous Guinness campaigns had fostered – and the colour grade of these images was always going to be key to achieving this.
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